Together with people around the world, Farm Sanctuary mourns the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others killed and impacted by racism, racial violence, and injustice. These tragic deaths expose structural and systemic oppression and inequity that have existed long before now and that are presently exacerbated by economic hardship, mass unemployment, disparities in healthcare, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solidarity is required in this moment, but true solidarity is constant and demonstrated through a commitment to taking action against that which is unjust. Farm Sanctuary historically has not voiced our opposition to racism loudly enough and we pledge to do better. There is a societal cost and impact to not doing so that runs counter to our organizational values of promoting greater justice and compassion.
What has drawn so many to the Farm Sanctuary community is the pursuit of a kinder, more compassionate world—a world where every individual is respected and free from harm. As an organization providing sanctuary to exploited and oppressed individuals, our work aligns with a greater mission to fight the very systems that treat human and non-human animals as disposable.
This week we took an important step forward as an organization, gathering as a team to affirm our commitment to social justice. We have prioritized the following actions, but we will not stop here:
- We will leverage our platforms to amplify diverse voices.
- We are accelerating our timeline for staff education and training on social justice and equity, the first phase of which will be completed by December 2020.
- We will increase our financial commitment to support mission-aligned initiatives that advance social justice.
- We are committed to social justice and equity principles throughout our new organizational strategy.
- We are formalizing our effort to ensure diversity and a demonstrated commitment to equity and social justice on our Board of Directors.
While we know that we have a responsibility to act, this moment is not about Farm Sanctuary. It is about all of us – a nation that must rise to confront the deeply rooted racism that destroys Black lives, families, and communities. We cannot accept the loss of one more Black life – we must learn and we must act.